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Woodbridge rehabilitation experts break down recent study that shows physical therapy is the best treatment for shoulder pain

physical therapy shoulder pain new jersey

After experiencing an injury, we understand that you have a number of options of what to do next. At Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation, our Woodbridge rehabilitation experts believe that the best possible option for most injuries is to follow a course of individualized physical therapy to build back your strength and function.

Fortunately for you, it’s not just us who believes in the effectiveness of physical therapy for treating most injuries. Countless studies also support its benefits when compared to other treatments time and time again. In continuing our mission to bring you the latest updates from the physical therapy research world, we discuss the findings of one of these studies for you, which shows why physical therapy is the best possible treatment for shoulder pain.

In the recent study, researchers decided to investigate the use of different treatments for shoulder impingement syndrome. This condition occurs when tendons in the shoulder become compressed, or impinged, by bones in that region. Shoulder impingement is most common in athletes that perform overhead activities like baseball players and quarterbacks, and it leads to pain and a loss of function of the shoulder. It’s considered one of the most common of all causes of shoulder pain, and it is responsible for up to 60% of all symptoms in the shoulder.

Treating shoulder pain without the use of surgery

There are a number of different ways to treat shoulder impingement conservatively, meaning without the use of surgery. One of these is physical therapy, which usually consists of different stretching and strengthening exercises for the muscles in and around the shoulder. Other conservative treatment options include taping and acupuncture. Somehow, even though shoulder impingement is such a common problem, there are no high-quality studies that have investigated the effectiveness of different treatments.

For this reason, researchers performed a systematic review on the topic. A systematic review collects all of the highest-quality evidence available in order to determine which treatment is most effective. In this case, researchers found 64 very high-quality studies on the use of physical therapy and other treatments for shoulder impingement.

The results of this review showed that various exercises led by a physical therapist to strengthen and stretch the muscles of the shoulder was the best possible conservative treatment studied. When a physical therapy treatment called manual therapy was also used, the outcomes for patients were even better. In addition, these exercises were found to lead to similar results for reducing pain and improving function as surgery.

Based on these findings, the researchers recommend physical therapy that includes strengthening and stretching exercises for all cases of shoulder impingement. Doing so will lead to the best possible outcomes. Here at Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation, our Woodbridge rehabilitation experts use this very type of approach for the patients we see with shoulder issues, and this review shows exactly why we do. So if you’re dealing with shoulder pain or any other nagging injuries, call us at 732-388-4184 or click here to schedule an appointment at any of our four clinics in Union, Woodbridge, Edison or Somerville NJ.

To read the abstract (summary) of the study, click here.


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